ART OF INFINITY- Raumwerk
“Raumwerk is a strong album which merges skillfully a diversity of styles which become entangled with a surprising cohesion in a long finely segmented musical journey”
To my big surprise, I liked a lot this last opus of Art of Infinity. I'm not such a fan of robot voices à la Kraftwerk. And nevertheless I did like “Raumwerk”. I'm also the kind of guy who learns to distrust the beautiful melodies which surround pink-candies rhythms of synth-pop. And still there, I loved “Raumwerk”. On the other hand, I adore synth-rock, electronic prog and the cataclysmic ambiences of an EM which bubbles within its psychedelicosmic effervescence. And that, there are full on the 55 minutes that last “Raumwerk”. Then, you understood that I adored this last album of Art of Infinity. The duet Thorsten Sudler-Mainz and Thorsten Rentsch still surpasses itself by offering a rich musical production without smudges. “Raumwerk” is a superb opus where Art of Infinity is not afraid of approaching musical tangents that little dare to approach so much the line between a more accessible music and a more exploratory and audacious musical form is difficult to do funambulist.
"Raum und Zeit" is a good starter with a heavy rhythm of which the ample oscillations are wrapped by a smooth coat of mist. The voices are robot-likes and their detached syllables remind me the cybernetic ramblings of Kraftwerk. This is good synth-pop which gets detached from the progressive approaches of Art of Infinity. "Weltraum" is a short title of atmosphere with an astral melody which is trapped in a cosmic corridor. We are still under its charms when the edgy rhythm of "Die Zeit" digs into our ears with a line of bass from which the heavy resonances undulate in another universe of synth-pop where Gary Numan's recollections cannot escape our ears. It's alive and very lively, sometimes very rock, and it especially has nothing to do with Art of Infinity's repertoire that surprises pleasantly in this register. "Das Tor" brings us back to the ambiospheric landscapes of the German duo with a title without rhythm but filled with synth breaths which roar in loops in an intense filmic mood à la Vangelis. It's a good moment of philharmonic and futuristic ambience, quite as "Glasufo" from whom the ambiospheric depths release a great duality between a soft dreamy piano and a weeping violin. Flirting with its13 minutes "Zur zweiten Welt" is the jewel of “Raumwerk”. Noises of a plane engines are furnishing the intro which slowly collapses under the incisive bites of a superb electric guitar. One would believe to be in full Pink Floyd mood with this portion of psychedelicosmic blues. The languishing rhythm is changing of skin at around the 4th minute, embracing a more ethereal phase with a soft piano which misleads its fragile notes into heavy and intense aboriginal musical landscapes, paving the way to a great prog synth-rock which gets consumed in a powerful final where the tribal percussions of Byron Metcalf burst out under the rips of a vampiric guitar. Very good!
While that the lost notes of "Traumraum" meditative piano are continuing to roam on the vestiges of "Zur zweiten Welt", "Tunnellichter" climbs the slopes of a slow and uncertain rhythm which drags an imploring heaviness in a very electronic static broth. We detect a fine melody, a kind of astral divination there, murmured among these rhythmic clogs which forge an ascending rhythm but of which the structure drowns itself in vapors and cosmic breezes. The piano is also one of the harmonious key elements of this 4th opus of Sudler-Mainz and Rentsch. On "Elektrischer Mann" it forges a fascinating funeral march. A sober procession with a finely jerked gait where crumbled harmonies throw a balm of astral incense around a paranormal voice which recites a robotic psalm. Simplistic you will say? Yes but also extremely catchy! "Arena" offers a more progressive structure of the kind of "Zur zweiten Welt" with a synth of which the breaths to the smells of saxophone are roaming in an intro which tumbles in a furious cosmic gallop. The rhythm is heavy, curt and jerked. Bitten by the soloing riffs of a gourmand electric guitar and knocked down by percussions to metallic clogs, it runs after its breath that it finds in a long ambiospheric and psychedelicosmic passage where the synth and the guitar are exchanging cooing and lamentations on an absent rhythm which skips as much slightly than the sounds of the voices with faded rustles. "Sternenhalle" closes this last musical odyssey of Art of Infinity with a structure totally ambiospheric where the musical abstract art lives in a luxuriant sound fauna of which the limits are pushed away until infinity. And the guitar? Gosh that I have the impression to hear David Gilmour!
“Raumwerk” is a strong album which merges skillfully a diversity of styles which become entangled with a surprising cohesion in a long finely segmented musical journey. The ambiences are rich and the rhythms, sometimes heavy and curt, are catchy. These elements, added to the wonderful guitars, weave a charming album that has no dead moment. An album that I adored and this from the first rhythms of "Raum und Zeit". And don't you think that the artwork looks a lot like a certain TD album? (Sylvain Lupari, Synth & Sequences, Canada)
ART OF INFINITY- Endless Future
Art Of Infinity formed over a decade ago, fusing electronica, ambient and progressive elements with a debut album released in 2000.
The third album 'Endless Future' continues the formula, blending classical, rock and ambient. It's predominately instrumental but the vocals never intrude - at times a tribal chant, sometimes a choir or - more rarely - spoken word. A mournful cello here, a lush synth there, a Jan Garbarek-style sax and the occasional Gilmour-esque guitar break, everything is in its place.
It feels like a soundtrack to a widescreen otherworld movie and will appeal to anyone who likes the more trippy elements of Floyd, Marillion and Eloy whilst owing a debt to fellow countrymen pioneers, Tangerine Dream.
In a quick-fix, time-poor world, 'Endless Future' demands some investment from the listener. Thirty five years ago we'd have been listening to this sort of thing, recumbent on a bean-bag in the local Virgin store. As it is, you'll now need to plump up the cushions, ease off the slippers, and dim the lights for the full experience. You won't be disappointed.
Thorsten Sudler-Mainz and Thorsten Rentsch have fashioned a quite sumptuous album that maintains a contemporary and original feel and is not as insipid as much 'new age' material. Intriguing and quite addictive.(getreadytoRock.com, United Kingdom)
ART OF INFINITY - Dimension Universe
Is it possible for two men, both named Thorsten, that play virtually the same instruments to meet up in the middle of Europe and form a band that plays Ambient Electronic Space music? Successfully? You bet.
Thorsten Sudler-Mainz and Thorsten Rentsch found themselves in the Netherlands in the mid-nineties and came up with their concept for Art Of Infinity. There, their album New Horizon was born and to follow it up they produced the 2004 release, Dimension Universe. The music is fresh and invigorating with the surprising element of polysyllabic tribal chant on many of the cuts (think Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus et al). Both Sudler-Mainz and Rentsch play keyboards and percussion as well as vocals and programming. There is some stirring added vocal work by Eva Wolf and Antje Schulz. Sudler-Mainz also provides his inventive style of “Spoken Words” in some of the songs.
Dimension Universe is Space Music, not so plain and not so simple. The voyage into to far off space begins with the thrilling track All Galaxies Sun, which has some interesting acoustic Dobro work. You feel yourself hitchhiking onto the tail of a comet as you are hurled into space.
Cosmic Rain with its medium tempo introduces you to the tribal chant vocals. They are not overpowering, that is to say, they are not used as the lead instruments as in Jenkins’ music. They add to the flow of the tune, invite your mind to connect with the travelers and take the trip into space.
Drift Upon the Sky, the longest cut on the album at 14:15, is a cowboy space opera in one act. Everything you need to visualize the action of the story is in the music. Our hero, traveling through space is pulled into another dimension. He or she is captured by unsavory characters and with the help of their fellow slaves make a valiant escape attempt. Sadly, all hands are lost. But only is this dimension. You can picture your own story, but the music is lush with synthesized samples and emotional saxophone riffs. It is just about the best cut on the CD. Except for…
…Trimelar Starlight , which is just as complex and just as exhilarating as Drift Upon the Sky. The chant is beguiling as you pulse though the galaxy in search of your next adventure. It makes you think that infinity is just around the corner in another dimension.
Somehow, these two electronic wizards have blended the ultra new and the traditional to form an exciting novel mix of music that takes you on a journey far out in space with only your thoughts and dreams for company. You may never want to return! (New Age Reporter, USA)
ART OF INFINITY - New Horizon
Progressive ambient new age music? Well, that is the best way to describe the Art of Infinity project from producer/musicians Thorsten Sudler and Thorsten Rentsch. Mixing a fusion of light ambient sounds, minus any harsh techno dance beats, but adding a world/ethnic atmosphere, as well as layers of synth pad orchestration, staying consistent throughout, providing an eased laid back vibe.
I know when most of you think of new age music, you probably think of that guy who married that soap opera actress and the guy who used to host Entertainment Tonight (trust me, their names aren’t even worthy of being mentioned by me), but before you freak out, New Horizon goes beyond all the tedious similarities of many yoga music acts.
The emphasis of the music itself, provided by space noises, midnight sax, soundscapes of female vocals, and the backdrop of guitar arpeggios, are discretely mixed within large amounts of reverb and technical panning, creating a spacious atmosphere. For the most part, this record stands out as a possible soundtrack to a sci-fi film or a documentary, in fact the final cut, “Evolution” was used in a documentary film, putting these guys on the right track. This music is not heavy and not all that avant-garde, all though there is an artsy feel to it.
This record would interest those who are into Rick Wright’s solo albums or the atmosphere of Pink Floyd’s later material (minus the whole songwriting structure) as well as Alan Parson’s instrumental material.. The record itself might interest audiophiles, due to the precise mixing and engineering of this record. New Horizon would probably fit in more with the whole “Windam Hill” crowd rather than the progressive rock crowd, but if you have any interest in new age music, and if you are a keyboardist, you might want to check this record out. (prog4you.com, USA)